Soil bioengineering

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The objective of the course is to lead the student to know the principles and the techniques of soil bioengineering and to develop design skills. In particular the course deals with the combination of vegetation and inert structures to restore, reclaim, remediate and protect land from degradation processes.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
· Know the main processes responsible for land degradation of soil bioengineering interest
· know the fundamentals of soil bioengineering techniques
· know the main soil bioengineering techniques
· design the main soil bioengineering works in one of the fields of application
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
The course is normally held on-line and does not change
Course syllabus
Introduction to the course. Origins and definitions of Soil bioengineering
Characteristics of live material:
- Functions of vegetation;
- effects of vegetation on erosion and stability processes on slopes and embankments as well as in the riverine environment;
- technical characteristics of plants;
- criteria for the choice of vegetation;
- forms of use of vegetation.
Characteristics of inert material: wood; stones; iron and steel; organic material; geosynthetics; auxiliary material.
Techniques: constructions on slopes and embankments; hydraulic constructions.
Interventions in the field of:
- works against hydrogeological instability
- river restoration
- recovery of quarries and landfills
- mobility infrastructures
- Other areas.
Prerequisites for admission
Fundamental prerequisites for frequency and/or study are knowledge of the main laws of physics, systems of units of measurement, trigonometry, elementary algebra.
Teaching methods
The course, delivered in asynchronous e-learning, is organized in teaching units divided into two groups:
- General tools of Soil bioengineering, in which the basics of the discipline, common to all applications (origins, contents, processes of physical degradation of the territory, materials), are treated.
- Areas of application (slopes and escarpments, watercourses, infrastructure, quarries and landfills)
For each teaching unit the student will have :
- one or more video lessons dealing with the aspect in question,
- supplementary material in the form of articles or book chapters (also in English),
- photogallery (currently inactive)
- videogallery (currently inactive)
- links to suggested websites,
- self-assessment test (currently inactive)
General tools:
- forum for the request of clarification to the teacher
- student discussion forum.
Being in asynchronous mode, the course is delivered continuously so that the student can follow it according to the rhythms that the student(s) are devised.
Teaching Resources
e-learing course delivered through the online teaching platform Ariel.
For students enrolled at the University of Milan, access to the Ariel platform is via the usual e-mail credentials provided by the University.
For students enrolled at the University of Genoa, until the transfer of information between the Universities is completed, access can be made by making the following steps:
1. Register on the Ariel website (
2. Then send an email message to bischetti@unimi with:
- first name, last name
- email address with which you registered
3. after registration, click on the confirmation link automatically received at the e-mail address used for registration. Enabling to access the site is not immediate but it will be done manually within a few days. In the case of difficulty, please, contact the instructor.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The students have two options:
- oral interview concerning all the program parts
- design project and its discussion, and its connection with the program. the project considers a study-case where Soil Bioengineering techniques can be applied (streambanks, hillslopes, embankments, etc.). The study-case can be proposed by the students with the help of the instructor, who will assist the students during the work.
the exam will be held at the Milan headquarter and scheduled by sending an email to the instructor with the following information:
- name and family name, Degree course, identification number (matricola)
- week of desirable date
For the exam formal registration, the students must enroll to the course through SIFA system.
WARNING: day and hour of the formal appointment do not correspond to the real interview appointment (that must be scheduled as above illustrated)
E-learning: 48 hours